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Do Patents Enable Disclosure? Evidence from the Invention Secrecy Act

Gaétan de Rassenfosse, Gabriele Pellegrino and Emilio Raiteri ()
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Gabriele Pellegrino: Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne

Working Papers from Chair of Innovation and IP Policy

Abstract: This paper provides novel empirical evidence that patents enable knowledge disclosure. The analysis exploits the Invention Secrecy Act, which grants the U.S. Commissioner for Patents the right to prevent disclosure of new inventions that represent a threat to national security. Using a two-level matching approach, we document a negative and large relationship between the enforcement of a secrecy order and follow-on inventions, as captured with patent citations and text-based measures of invention similarity. The effect of secrecy orders is particularly salient for geographically-distant parties and for inventions in the same technological field as the secreted patent.

Keywords: disclosure; follow-on invention; knowledge diffusion; patent (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O31 O33 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ino, nep-ipr, nep-law, nep-sbm and nep-tid
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